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Meet your new committee for 2018-19

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PRESIDENT

Alice White

Alice White

My name is Alice–I’m a Kiwi/British hybrid in the first year of my PhD in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience.

I previously completed an MPhil in PDN, too. I’m an experienced leader, engaged with Cambridge alumni, and I have considerable practice in time and people management. I captained the rowing team during my undergraduate degree at UCLA and I competed for Cambridge in two boat races. I’m currently traveling the world on a fellowship to meet Cambridge alumni. I’ve been a member of CamBRAIN for two years and I want to bring vibrancy and diverse connections as your President.

 

SECRETARY

Elena Mainetto

Elena

My name is Elena Mainetto and I am a Research Assistant in the Psychiatry Department, where I work on understanding the environmental determinants of eating behaviour. I have a BA in Biology and a Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience. I have taken part in several CamBrain events and became passionate about the idea of promoting Neuroscience within a fun environment. I therefore would be delighted to be part of the Committee as Secretary. I believe that my vast experience in organising and promoting events, combined with my out-going personality and my love for science would make me an excellent secretary.

 

JUNIOR TREASURER

Monica Killen

Monica

I’m a 2nd year PhD candidate in the Clinical Neurosciences department studying metabolism and inflammation in traumatic brain injury. In my research I investigate the effects of supplementing the brain’s energy production process as a potential therapy. CamBRAIN is a great place to share your passion for neuroscience with students and members of the community. I am really excited to continue contributing to the society as Junior Treasurer, running talks, getting people involved in all our events, and facilitating inclusive science communication!

 

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Nayantara Ramamoorthy

NantaraHello, I’m Nayantara, a second year PhD student in Psychology. My research looks at individual differences in attention processes, particularly autistic traits, and how this may have implications for social processing.

I am the communications coordinator for 2018-19. I have previously worked at an early intervention centre for autism in India, where one fulfilling aspect of my job was engaging with parents and the wider community to create support and awareness networks.

I attended CamBRAIN events last year and found the society to be a great platform to bring together the diverse strands of the neuroscience research community: researchers, professionals, and members of the public. Importantly, it gave me a sense of belonging. I would like to contribute to communicating science meaningfully and fostering a space where people with varied interests feel welcome.

 

SOCIAL SECRETARY

Lisa Duan

Lisa Duan Photo

Hello! I am going to my third year of PhD in Experimental Psychology, studying the
neurobiological mechanisms that underlie compulsive behaviours in disorders such as
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. In the past year I have been part of the CamBRAIN
committee and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the larger neuroscience community as well as organising events that encourage communications between neuroscientists. I have also organised and ran themed events and public engagement activities as part of my college’s MCR committee and neuroscience outreach. This year I aim to realise more events that foster social engagements and networking within and beyond the Cambridge community. I am thrilled to be able to continue my contribution in connecting people who are interested in neuroscience.

 

SOCIAL SECRETARY

Naunehal Singh

cambran

Hi my name is Naunehal Singh, I am researching neurodegeneration here at Cambridge. I was a part of a neuroscience society at university, where I enjoyed engaging with the wider community about this rapidly expanding field. So naturally, I attended many CamBRAIN events which was an excellent opportunity to engage with fellow neuroscientists and learn about cutting-edge multidisciplinary research at Cambridge. I am passionate to be a part of the CamBRAIN executive committee as social secretary in order to organise events to facilitate the society’s efforts to foster collaboration and communication within the Neuroscience field.

 

OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Deniz Ghaffari

edenizHello everyone! My name is Deniz Ghaffari and I am a Third-year PhD candidate in Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) working on rare coding mutations involved in development of Alzheimer’s disease. I specifically study the role of ABI3, an adaptor protein involved in cytoskeleton rearrangement, together with TREM2-PLCG2 pathway in microglia phagocytosis and migration. Last year I was a CamBRAIN committee member as an “Outreach Coordinator”. It has been a very rewarding and exciting experience and I’m so keen to stay on the same role for the academic year of 2018-2019. I look forward to yet another year of REACHING OUT and bridging the gap by organising more neuroscience related events for students and the public!

 

INTEREST GROUPS COORDINATOR

Arkoprovo Paul

ArkoI am Arko, a PhD student in Autism Research Centre, Psychiatry, working at Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine. I have had the opportunity to explore diverse research areas in molecular and cognitive neurosciences, such as cellular signaling in glioblastoma (2011-12), neuroimaging in music cognition (2013-14) and early intervention in children with Autism (2014-15). Currently I am studying synaptic connectivity in Autism using stem cell derived cortical neurons. Beyond research, my curiosity towards the principles of “neuroaesthetics” fosters my passion for songwriting, painting and music production. Having served as CamBRAIN Interest Groups Coordinator last year, I am keen to continue in this role and bring in exciting academic and social event ideas for all neuroscience aficionados.

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Elections 2018 – Vote for CamBRAIN Executive Committee

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Who will be on your next CamBRAIN committee?

Here are the candidates:

PRESIDENT

Alice White

Alice White

My name is Alice–I’m a Kiwi/British hybrid in the first year of my PhD in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience.

I previously completed an MPhil in PDN, too. I’m an experienced leader, engaged with Cambridge alumni, and I have considerable practice in time and people management. I captained the rowing team during my undergraduate degree at UCLA and I competed for Cambridge in two boat races. I’m currently traveling the world on a fellowship to meet Cambridge alumni. I’ve been a member of CamBRAIN for two years and I want to bring vibrancy and diverse connections as your President.

 

SECRETARY

Elena Mainetto

Elena

My name is Elena Mainetto and I am a Research Assistant in the Psychiatry Department, where I work on understanding the environmental determinants of eating behaviour. I have a BA in Biology and a Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience. I have taken part in several CamBrain events and became passionate about the idea of promoting Neuroscience within a fun environment. I therefore would be delighted to be part of the Committee as Secretary. I believe that my vast experience in organising and promoting events, combined with my out-going personality and my love for science would make
me an excellent secretary.

 

 

JUNIOR TREASURER

Monica Killen

Monica

I’m a 2nd year PhD candidate in the Clinical Neurosciences department studying metabolism and inflammation in traumatic brain injury. In my research I investigate the effects of supplementing the brain’s energy production process as a potential therapy. CamBRAIN is a great place to share your passion for neuroscience with students and members of the community. I am really excited to continue contributing to the society as Junior Treasurer, running talks, getting people involved in all our events, and facilitating inclusive science communication!

 

 

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Nayantara Ramamoorthy

NantaraHello, I’m Nayantara, a second year PhD student in Psychology. My research looks at individual differences in attention processes, particularly autistic traits, and how this may have implications for social processing.

I would like to apply for the post of communications coordinator. I have previously worked at an early intervention centre for autism in India, where one fulfilling aspect of my job was engaging with parents and the wider community to create support and awareness networks.

I attended CamBRAIN events last year and found the society to be a great platform to bring together the diverse strands of the neuroscience research community: researchers, professionals, and members of the public. Importantly, it gave me a sense of belonging. If elected, I would like to contribute to communicating science meaningfully and fostering a space where people with varied interests feel welcome.

 

 

SOCIAL SECRETARY (2 POSITIONS)

Lisa Duan

Lisa Duan Photo

Hello! I am going to my third year of PhD in Experimental Psychology, studying the
neurobiological mechanisms that underlie compulsive behaviours in disorders such as
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. In the past year I have been part of the CamBRAIN
committee and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the larger neuroscience community as well as organising events that encourage communications between neuroscientists. I have also organised and ran themed events and public engagement activities as part of my college’s MCR committee and neuroscience outreach. This year I aim to realise more events that foster social engagements and networking within and beyond the Cambridge community. I would be thrilled to be able to continue my contribution in connecting people who are interested in neuroscience.

 

 

Naunehal Singh

cambran

Hi my name is Naunehal Singh, I am researching neurodegeneration here at Cambridge. I was a part of a neuroscience society at university, where I enjoyed engaging with the wider community about this rapidly expanding field. So naturally, I attended many CamBRAIN events which was an excellent opportunity to engage with fellow neuroscientists and learn about cutting-edge multidisciplinary research at Cambridge. I am passionate to be a part of the CamBRAIN executive committee as social secretary in order to organise events to facilitate the society’s efforts to foster collaboration and communication within the Neuroscience field.

 

 

 

OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Deniz Ghaffari

edenizHello everyone! My name is Deniz Ghaffari and I am a Third-year PhD candidate in Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) working on rare coding mutations involved in development of Alzheimer’s disease. I specifically study the role of ABI3, an adaptor protein involved in cytoskeleton rearrangement, together with TREM2-PLCG2 pathway in microglia phagocytosis and migration. Last year I was a CamBRAIN committee member as an “Outreach Coordinator”. It has been a very rewarding and exciting experience and I’m so keen to stay on the same role for the academic year of 2018-2019. I look forward to yet another year of REACHING OUT and bridging the gap by organising more neuroscience related events for students and the public!

 

 

INTEREST GROUPS COORDINATOR

Arkoprovo Paul

ArkoI am Arko, a PhD student in Autism Research Centre, Psychiatry, working at Anne McLaren Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine. I have had the opportunity to explore diverse research areas in molecular and cognitive neurosciences, such as cellular signaling in glioblastoma (2011-12), neuroimaging in music cognition (2013-14) and early intervention in children with Autism (2014-15). Currently I am studying synaptic connectivity in Autism using stem cell derived cortical neurons. Beyond research, my curiosity towards the principles of “neuroaesthetics” fosters my passion for songwriting, painting and music production. Having served as CamBRAIN Interest Groups Coordinator last year, I am keen to continue in this role and bring in exciting academic and social event ideas for all neuroscience aficionados.

 

CamBRAIN Elections: Join the Executive Committee

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Dear CamBRAIN members,

Would you like to a part of the executive committee for one of the largest neuroscience communities in the UK?

Can you represent the diverse interests of neuroscience folks at the University of Cambridge and beyond?

Are you interested in organizing activities and events for over 1000 members?

Then Join CamBRAIN: The Cambridge Neuroscience Society Executive Committee!

We are now recruiting to form the next executive committee for the 2018-2019 academic year, the following roles will be up for election:

  • President
  • Secretary
  • Junior Treasurer
  • Social Secretaries (x2)
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Interest Groups Coordinator

In case you have any questions, the current committee members are listed here.

If you are interested in running for a specific role, please e-mail our secretary Marino Krstulovic (mk823@cam.ac.uk) a small photo of yourself and a brief manifesto (100 words maximum) outlining who you are, your relevant past experience, and why you are interested in the role, by midnight on Friday 27th July.

You will have to be a University of Cambridge member (postgraduate or post-doctoral) with a CRSid, registered on the CamBRAIN mailing list in order to run for a position and to be included in the ballot list. Please check that you have signed up with your @cam email address as you will also need it to vote.

Please join us in furthering the success of this vibrant society!

Best wishes,

The CamBRAIN Committee

CamBRAIN Panel Discussion – The Believing Brain: Neuroscience of Belief

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Thank you all who joined our CamBRAIN 2018 panel discussion on the Neuroscience of Belief! We had a great audience filling the St John’s Old Divinity School lecture theatre, asking some great questions and sparking a lively dialogue between our speakers. Each of our researcher panellists had a range of expertise in the field of neuroscience and explained different aspects of our brains’ functions, and how this impacts on what we believe.

Elaine Snell, the Chief Operating Officer of the International Neuroethics society, welcomed us all to the event and chaired the session. She spoke on how themes of ethics and the beliefs of our society, whether religious, spiritual, political or otherwise can have a large impact on how we regulate and control research in neuroscience, and how it is important to have these discussions on the future of neuroscience.

Next, Revd Prof. Alasdair Coles gave a wide scoped introduction to the how theme of neuroscience and belief applied to religious convictions and god. As a neurologist his research is based on the immunology and treatment of multiple sclerosis, but he has spent some time looking into the brain’s response to religious experience, and how we are unable to pinpoint a ‘god spot’ or difference in a religious person’s brain.

This was then followed seamlessly with a presentation by Dr Joseph Tennant, a research associate working on the psychology and neurology of religious experience. Dr Tennant investigates the euphoric or transcendent auras which some patients with epilepsy experience during a seizure, and how this spirituality impacts on patients’ lives and shared some of their descriptions of these vivid experiences.

Finally, Dr Lee de-Wit, a post-doctoral researcher and author of a book exploring the psychology of voting- ‘What’s Your Bias?: The Surprising Science of Why We Vote the Way We Do’, walked us through some of the great research out there on the differences between conservative and liberal brains, and how your politics and personality can be intertwined.

Dr Harvey McMahon FRS , also originally listed as presenting at this event gave his apologies for being unable to make the panel event.

Of the many questions put forward to our panellists, one of the main emergent themes of the evening was the hope that by understanding the basis of our differences in beliefs, it could lead to a greater acceptance and tolerance amongst us, as we currently live in a time of great divisions.

Our audience had a chance to follow up and mingle with our guest speakers in a drinks reception after the panel discussion.

We would like to thank our fantastic speakers for their time and effort.
Look out for our next Neurotalks and upcoming Career’s event!

Article written by Monica Killen – Junior Treasurer

This event was supported by the British Neuroscience Association.

CamBRAIN at the Cambridge Science Festival

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CamBRAIN was a proud collaborator of the 2018 Cambridge Science Festival. The aim of the Festival is to provide opportunities to explore and discuss all things scientific and to encourage young and the old alike to learn more about science – so it was a perfect match for CamBRAIN! We sent up a stall at the Guidhall on the 18th of March and our CamBRAINers were flooded with joy by curious bright young children wanting to make their own neurons out of playdough, have their face painted (with beautiful neurons, of course!) and make paper hats that showed the intricate functional anatomy of the brain. We also had cool smartphone microscopes that allowed us to see some real neurons in a slice of a mouse’s brain.  At the same time we partnered up with Neural Knitworks and helped in their stall to make multi coloured fabric neurons with buttons as nucleus. Who said scientists can’t be creative?!

No matter the activity it spurred lots of interesting questions from our new friends in science, some of which we are still trying to answer with our research so it was nice to also share a bit of the current work being done besides some more general facts about the brain. We had lots of fun. We loved to see you there, if you’ve missed it don’t worry – we can’t wait to do this again next year!

Article written by Marta Camacho – Social Secretary